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Invest In The Iconic Wine Galatrona - Tuscany's Answer To Petrus

Now, you can invest in the Tuscan gem, Tenuta Petrolo Galatrona, and even in the 2016 vintage, which is considered the best Galatrona ever.

It is no secret that Italian wines are more popular than ever, but if you want to highlight one area in particular, you need to look at Tuscany. Picture-perfect Tuscany is located in western Italy on the coast and is the birthplace of Brunello di Montalcino. On the other hand, this is also where we find the ultra-popular Super Tuscans that have taken the world by storm, and one of them is Galatrona.

The First Real Super Tuscan Made From Merlot

Galatrona has really put Tenuta Petrolo on the map and manifested its position among the leading producers in Tuscany, even in an area that includes Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Masseto, etc. Galatrona is in fact the first true Super Tuscan to be made exclusively from Merlot, which has led Monica Larner of The WineAdvocate to call Galatrona Tuscany's answer to Petrus.  

The term "Super Tuscan" covers a number of producers in Tuscany, who have broken with local traditions and are producing modern French-inspired wines - for example by blending classic French grapes into the wine, including Merlot. In addition, the wines are also aged in small barriques - oak barrels - as it is known from Bordeaux.

“Tenuta Petrolo Doesn’t Make Basic Wines, Only Great Wines”

The title is in fact the producer's own, but it also underlines the self-awareness that the winery rightly has. Here, they strive for the very best, and nothing is left to chance.

The Petrolo winery is located in the Val d'Arno di Sopra area, southeast of the classic Chianti. Here, it is possible to work with different grape varieties without being limited by the Chianti rules. Petrolo's 30 hectares are planted with everything from Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot and Sangiovese. The gem of the collection, however, is the 10-hectare Galatrona vineyard planted with Merlot.

Planting and pruning have been the way forward, and by increasing the number of plants per hectare, as well as changing the way of pruning, the quality has been raised to new heights. The hard work is put into the vineyard, as the best and healthiest plants produce the best wine in the end.

The winery is now certified organic as a result of the family's care of the vineyards over several decades.

To choose Merlot as the gem of his collection shows something about the level of ambition of the owner Luca Sanjust. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely easier to work with in the vineyard, but Luca's love for Pomerol made him go in this direction. It has succeeded and is continuously underlined by great scores from the best critics.

Tenuta Petrolo is located at the slopes of the picture perfect Toscana and surrounded by wineyards. 

Galatrona - An Ambitious Dream That Came True

Galatrona is the result of an ambitious winemaker's dream. The Merlot grape requires more attention than many other grape varieties and succeeds only in a few places in the world. The best wines of Pomerol, and a few great examples from Napa Valley, are the only wines that are in the top league when we talk about red wine from the Merlot grape. With Galatrona and Masseto in the lead, there is no longer any question that Tuscany can produce Merlot in the absolute best class.

The Galatrona vineyard was planted in the late 1980s with clones of the best Merlot grapes that could be sourced from Bordeaux. There was never any doubt about the inspiration for this wine, which was the best wines from Pomerol like Petrus and Le Pin. The soil, which is rich in minerals, provided the perfect environment for this ambitious project, the first vintage of which saw the light of day in 1994.

Vintage 2016 Once Again Shows The Top Of Tuscany

In a long line of good vintages from Tuscany, the 2016 vintage stands out with a rarely seen balance. For Galatrona, the Merlot grape has benefited from the long growing season and stands out as one of the best vintages ever, according to The WineAdvocate critic, who gives it 98 points. The other regions in Tuscany, such as Bolgheri and Brunello di Montalcino, have also received excellent ratings for the 2016 vintage, which underlines the fact that this is one of the great vintages of this cult wine.

Historical Returns Underline The Potential

There is no doubt that 2016 is something special - and 2016 will be a vintage that will be the reference point for future vintages. If you look at the best comparable vintage, the 2009 is also awarded with 98 points by The WineAdvocate.

The 2009 vintage is currently priced at €120-130 per bottle, which is well over double the current price of the 2016 vintage, which you can now buy for investment at just €64 per bottle and in investment-appropriate quantities.   

Rarewine Invest's Opinion

As we have highlighted before, there is huge potential in investing in the best Italian wines, and that certainly includes the cult wine Galatrona from top producer Tenuta Petrolo. In the last two years, Italian wines have been at the forefront of returns and popularity, as underlined by both trading figures from the UK wine exchange Liv-ex and the fact that Italy has no less than 4 producers in the top 10 of the annual Power 100 list, which is measured on price and trading activity among other criteria.

In addition, we are seeing wines of unprecedented quality from Italy, with the 2016 vintage in particular in a league of its own, underlining the huge potential of getting in early before prices really take off. There are still investment appropriate quantities to be found on the market at extremely attractive prices.

As consumption increases, we are gradually seeing price increases that are often above what is often seen, as exemplified by the comparable 2009 Galatrona, which is currently trading at €120-130 per bottle, making the coveted 2016 vintage look like a real bargain as long as it can be acquired for just €64 per bottle.




A leading luminary among Italian vintners, Luca Sanjust is the man behind Galatrona, dubbed “the Pétrus of Italy,” and Torrione, one of the highest-regarded Sangiovese-based wines in Tuscany. The Petrolo estate was acquired by the Bazzocchi family in the 1940s and since the mid 1980s has been headed by Lucia Bazzocchi Sanjust with the assistance of her son Luca, who now manages the winery. Luca was an accomplished painter, recognized as one of the most promising young artists in Italy in the early 1980s, when he came back to run his family’s estate.

The following quote published in the early 2000s in Wine Spectator perfectly sums up Luca Sanjust's outlook on the path he has taken:

“An artist has to dedicate his whole being and 100 percent of his time to his art. I was faced with the question: Art or wine? I chose wine.”



Petrolo is the definition of a cult winery, with an owner and a story that have helped create its legendary status. Though virtually unknown even in the wine world, the Valdarno di Sopra denomination dates back to the days of the Medici family during the Renaissance, and the area has always been renowned for the winemaking potential of the tiny area of Tuscany near Chianti in which it is located.


Petrolo has roman origins, the name Petrolo comes from the term petroliarum (mansion-house, country residence with the praetorium) but older Etruscan settlements here existed already. Both the names Galatrona and Bòggina are Etruscan, the latter probably derives from an Etruscan family which lived in these hills 3000 years ago.

This part of Chianti, largely covered in woods, has always been farmed with vineyards and olive groves being the only cultivations fitting well in this land. A territory with a long history and an old vocation in the production of great wines. We find trace of this in 1716 when Cosimo III de Medici, Great Duke of Tuscany, stated with an edict which areas had the most valuable productions of fine wine and quality olive oil. This edict recognized 4 areas, Chianti center (between Panzano and Greve), Carmignano (west of Florence), Pomino (east of Florence) and the Val d’Arno di Sopra (the western and eastern hills along the Arno river between Florence and Arezzo, where Petrolo belongs) .

This vocation was confirmed one century later in 1834 by agronomist Giorgio Perrin, owner of Petrolo and member of the Accademia dei Gergofili of Florence. He celebrates Sangiovese and this land, especially that spot called Campo Asciutto (now Bòggina), explaining how it was common use at the time planting “French grapes” in Chianti to combine with Sangiovese, by virtue of a soil that manages to prevail over different varietals.

The Estate was acquired in the 40’s by the family Bazzocchi that followed up the tradition of carefully producing high quality wines with utter commitment. The pecularities of this area add to its value; the land of Petrolo, where vineyardsolive groves and woods coexist, living side by side, forming with the soil a rich ecosystem that contributes to perfectly balance the different grape varieties.



Petrolo's vineyards extend across 31 Ha of which 26 Ha are in production to date. With an altitude between 250 and 450 meters a.s.l. our vineyards grow over moderately loose-packed soil with rocky stratifications of limestone, sand, claystone and flakes of shale typical of the Chianti area. We have around 5500 plants per hectare trained to produce very low yeald around 25 Hl per hectare for a total of 600/650 Hl of wine.

The soil composition, its altitude and exposure are within those key elements that help to obtain wines of marked character.  All the rest is tuned by passion and by the ability to listen what earth every day teaches.



The greatest care and attention is taken at Petrolo for the daily work in the vineyards.

We’re conscious that great wines are only obtained when particular and favourable pedo-climatic conditions are fulfilled. Here at Petrolo we are lucky to have them, but it’s only with a painstaking manual work in the vineyards that we manage to convince the vines to have a very limited but still balanced production. It’s a job that starts with the pruning in winter, the tying of the new shoots in spring and keeping the vines tidy until the green harvest (at Petrolo in two phases, the first after the flowering and the other after the veraison).

It’s exactly this balance within the vine, that will bring the grapes to a complete maturation during harvest, that will be found again in the wine as perfect harmony between fruit and acidity and persistence to the palate.

The grapes, selected and handpicked, are collected in small crates and brought to the cellar for vinification. After distemming, the grapes are driven to the sorting table to be selected again according to maturity and health.

Vinification is carried out in glazed cement vats. Each vineyard’s batch is fermented separately according to grape variety and origin using our native yeast. Skin maceration is prolonged according to variety of the grapes and vintage conditions, to achieve complete extraction. Pumping-overs are done by hand with great care and fermentation is controlled to avoid temperature to exceed 28-30 °C.

After separating the less noble lees, wine starts it’s aging period. Most wine is kept resting in French oak barriques, partly in French tonneaux and in 40 Hl Barrels made in France. The choice of the woods is of primary importance and continuously evolving trying to adapt the use of the different woods to the characteristics of the wines produced.


Inside information

In the last fifteen years, Petrolo has established itself as one of Tuscany’s, and Italy’s, great wineries. The estate produces Torrione, a wine made predominantly from Sangiovese; Boggina, pure Sangiovese from a single vineyard; and Galatrona, a 100% Merlot that enjoys international renown among wine collectors and enthusiasts. Petrolo has a remarkable track record of producing some of the finest examples of these two very different native and non-native varieties. While Galatrona deservedly receives fireworks in the press and is part of the history of Tuscany’s quality revolution in the late 1980s and 1990s, Torrione and Boggina are an equally thrilling success – Sangiovese from a special area that long ago was left just outside Chianti Classico, and today produces wines of distinct regional identity.


6 different wines with 39 vintages

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